The Whale Story
Celebrate what you want to see more of
Have you ever wondered how the whale and porpoise trainers at Sea World get Shamu, the 19,000-pound whale, to jump 22 feet out of the water and perform tricks? They get that whale to go over a rope farther out of the water than most of us can imagine. This is a great challenge—as great as the ones you and I face as parents, coaches or managers.
Can you imagine the typical American managerial approach to this situation? The first thing we would do would be to get that rope right up there at 22 feet—no sense celebrating shortcomings. We call that goal-setting, or strategic planning. With the goal clearly defined, we now have to figure out a way to motivate the whale. So we take a bucket of fish and put it right above that 22-foot rope—donÆt pay the whale unless it performs. Then we have to give direction. We lean over from our nice high and dry perch and say, ôJump, whale!ö
And the whale stays right where it is.